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Are gifted students now an underserved population?

E-School News – Dennis Pierce

“With all of the focus on helping struggling students achieve grade-level proficiency, students at the very top end of the academic spectrum often aren’t getting the challenges they need to stay engaged in school or tap their full potential. Matthew Jaskol aims to change that. He is the program director and co-founder of Pioneer Academics, which identifies and empowers high-achieving students with university professors so they can take part in challenging and creative research opportunities across a wide range of disciplines while still in high school.”(more)

Santa Claus and Newton’s Three Laws of Motion

Education World – Leigh O. Cody

“Provide the following scenarios to students. You might cut and paste the text below and present the text to students as a work sheet. Directions: Identify which of Newton’s Laws of Motion is being demonstrated in each of the following scenarios:.”(more)

More classrooms making time for play in early grades

Education Dive – Linda Jacobson

“Play is making a comeback in the early grades, with kindergarten teachers in the Omaha Public Schools making time in their classrooms for activities, such as puppet shows and painting, and incorporating pretend cash registers, money and plastic food, the Omaha World-Herald reports.”(more)

Recess: Administrators share 4 fun ways to maintain engagement ahead of holidays

Education Dive – Roger Riddell

“The week leading up to a break can be particularly difficult for educators and students alike, with the former often struggling to hold the latter’s attention as they become increasingly anxious about the prospect of time off. This is especially true of winter break, when — no matter what they might celebrate — everyone is looking forward to the opportunity to spend time with loved ones and perhaps exchange a few gifts.”(more)

Encouraging a Sense of Gratitude in Students

Edutopia – Marissa King

“In the glittery bustle of the holidays, teachers often scramble to fit in last-minute lessons and refocus students dreaming of vacation excitement. It’s worthwhile to pause in the middle of all that excitement to build in reflective moments of gratefulness. Yet without a clear plan to foster classroom gratitude, we risk missing the improved attitude, improved physical and psychological health, and enhanced social and emotional skills that giving thanks can bring. Positive psychology suggests that learning to be thankful has benefits that extend far beyond the classroom walls, including lifelong happiness.”(more)

Engaging children in math at home equals a boost in more than just math skills

Purdue – Staff Writer

“Preschool children who engage in math activities at home with their parents not only improve their math skills, but also their general vocabulary, according to research from Purdue University. “Exposure to basic numbers and math concepts at home were predictive, even more so than storybook reading or other literacy-rich interactions, of improving preschool children’s general vocabulary,” said Amy Napoli, a doctoral student in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies who led the study.”(more)

OPINION: The new lifelong learner — an education to match America’s economic needs

The Hechinger Report – Mark Dorman

“In the past, we’ve often thought about formal education as the acquisition of broad skills at a fixed point in time, with training ending at about age 18, 22 or later for those who need advanced degrees. In order to succeed in the jobs of the future, the workers of tomorrow will need to become lifelong learners. The brain you graduate from college with at age 22 isn’t the one you’re stuck with for the rest of your life. And lifelong learning is the education that never ends: An ever-evolving mastery and proof of abilities.”(more)

10 Charts That Changed the Way We Think About America’s Schools in 2017

The 74 Million – Kevin Mahnken and Andrew Brownstein

“More than two-thirds of America’s 74 million kids attend K-12 schools — buildings where tens of millions of teachers, administrators, and staffers go to work every day. Between educational and retirement costs, they represent most states’ biggest expenditures. And their end product, the promise of our nation’s kids? You could say that’s pretty important too.”(more)

Some Advice for Champions of Social and Emotional Learning

Education Next – Frederick Hess

“Education loves its fads. After years of tough-minded superintendents and would-be reformers talking only about reading and math scores, we’re now enthusiastically rediscovering that schools are actually supposed to tend to other important stuff too—things like character, decency, perseverance, responsibility, and citizenship. Of course, saying it that way or observing that these are time-tested virtues wouldn’t seem all that new, cool, or worthy of big foundation investments. In fact, put that way, there’s more than a whiff of stale, 1950s-era squareness in the air..”(more)

California must set ambitious goals to combat chronic absenteeism

Ed Source – Phyllis Jordan

“Last week, California’s parents and educators received a new trove of information about what’s going on in the state’s public schools. For the first time, state officials released data on the level of student absenteeism in every school. The data show more than one in 10 students are chronically absent, meaning they miss 10 percent or more of the school year in excused or unexcused absences. The problem strikes in rural, urban and suburban schools. It is worse among foster children and homeless students, among Native American and African-American kids.”(more)